To celebrate NSW small business month, we thought what better way to do so than introduce our amazing boss lady!
Sharnee Thorpe, our very own talented wonder business woman, mum and freelance textile designer. Sharnee has been creating and designing since before she can even remember.
Wandering Folk was born from her love of the outdoors, camping and mostly picture perfect picnics. With her desire to be surrounded by beautiful prints and textiles, the idea of Wandering Folk was brought to life.
For many years Sharnee was running her business solo, packing orders in her bedroom, replying to customer emails and working her usual busy freelance life on the side.
Now, in 2020 she has 3 employees, a beautiful showroom in Byron Bay and close to 100 stores selling her beautiful products.
Her staff are all friends and family of hers who have watched Wandering Folk grow from the very beginning.
Sharnee shares with us a little about her life, inside and outside of the business, what keeps her inspired and how to stay grounded in having such a busy life.
Sharnee, how do you juggle being a mum, freelance textile designer and business owner?
Hmm it’s a big juggle and I‘m still trying to find the balance & figure it out, Some days I don’t do it well ha! I’m learning to say no a lot more than I used to so I can make time for the things that really make my heart sing.
I have an incredible husband who went part-time at work to look after Velvet 2 days a week so I can be in the WF office & Velli is in day-care 1 day a week. I work from home when Velli naps and work when she goes off to bed. Mostly I’m just turbo when I’m in the office and try to get as much done as possible, I have an awesome WF team that keep everything going when I’m home looking after the bub.
My freelance work has been pushed aside these days, as I just don’t have the time sadly. I still work with a select handful of brands that I LOVE, but it’s a slow process…they said I’m worth the wait.
Many people are inspired by everything that you do, being such a busy creative bee must get tiring! Where do you draw your own inspiration from to keep creativity flowing?
I’m a vintage addict so when I have time, I love hunting for treasures that inspire new print ideas. Pinterest is a great way to get lost in beautiful images that spark exciting ideas in my busy mind. I love reading (before I go to sleep) I’m always reading few books at a time. I also Love listing to inspiring podcasts that tell stories of creatives in business.
When did your passion for creating begin… and what made you realise you wanted to start Wandering Folk?
I’ve always loved creating from a really young age, I remember painting birds & flowers with my grandma in her craft room and I guess it just flowed from there. After I finished studying I worked for a Print Studio designing prints for the fashion industry, it was a very fast paced job designing 25 prints a week. I soon realised I wanted to be a freelancer where I could take the time to hand paint my prints and really take pride in the artwork I was creating rather than pump it out. It was about 2 years into freelancing when I started to daydream about how awesome it would be to have my own brand, where I could have 100% creative freedom on the prints….I guess this was the seed of how Wandering Folk came about.
Where is your favourite place to wander? Or the place that has given you the most inspiration?
Wandering Guatemala markets a few years ago was mind blowing, it’s the most inspiring country with all its traditional embroidery and colourful textiles. My head was spinning with excitement and inspiration at all the patterns.
What is your most cherished time of the day?
Sunset in our backyard looking out at the creek